Does Rosemary Oil Really Help With Hair Growth? Here’s What Experts Have to Say

The essential oil has been compared to minoxidil.

Hair oil has been touted as the item to have in your hair care routine—they’re believed to have a variety of benefits, from strengthening the hair and preventing frizz to protecting against heat damage and even promoting hair growth. 

One oil that ticks off all four is rosemary oil—TikTok is obsessed with the essential oil for hair growth and overall hair health, with the #RosemaryOil tag garnering over 586M views and countless videos showcasing user’s success stories. Some are even experiencing hair growth of record speeds, with a noticeable difference in length in just three weeks.

We spoke with hairstylists to see if—and how—rosemary oil can help promote hair growth.


Anna Efetova/Getty Images

Rosemary Oil Benefits

Rosemary oil comes from the rosemary plant native to the Mediterranean region. The fragrant sprig is used throughout beauty—including skin care, hair care, and perfume—and has been hailed as a healing herb for centuries.

“It is best known for its antiseptic properties on the scalp, which means it is excellent for eliminating dandruff, as well as preserving the scalp’s elasticity,” says Darrius Peace, hairstylist and natural hair expert. “In fact, because it can be used on the scalp, the absorption can also aid in muscle relief, providing mental clarity.”

Rosemary Oil for Hair Growth

In short, yes! Rosemary oil has a definite track record of supporting healthy hair growth and regrowing hair.

According to William Gaunitz, certified trichologist and founder of Advanced Trichology, a 2015 study compared minoxidil (an FDA-approved treatment for hair loss) to rosemary oil over a period of six months. The findings? Both products had comparable results, but the rosemary oil was actually more beneficial, as it did not irritate the scalp as much as minoxidil. 

Before we continue to tout rosemary oil’s praises, let’s take a step back to talk about hair health. “The scalp is the organ that houses the hair follicle where hair formation begins on a cellular level resulting in the production of the hair fiber. Retaining the delicate balance of the scalps microbiome should be a priority when discussing hair growth,” explains New York City trichologist Bridgette Hill. “Rosemary oil is good for hair growth because it is anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory, increases blood circulation, and is a fatty acid.”

Some reports even say rosemary oil can benefit androgenetic alopecia (A.K.A. male and female pattern baldness) “by eliminating the byproducts of testosterone that attack hair follicles, allowing for stronger, healthier hair growth,” according to Kasper Heemskerk, Balmain Hair Couture's International Education Director. 

Side Effects of Rosemary Oil

Since rosemary oil is a natural herb, it is completely safe to use. But if your scalp is on the sensitive side and you’re worried about how your skin may react, Wes Sharpton, hairstylist and Hairstory Lead Brand Educator, recommends doing a patch test first. 

“Take a small amount of your rosemary oil mixture and apply to a small portion of the scalp that is visible to you. Observe the skin where you applied the oil to see if there is any itchiness, burning, redness, or inflammation to make sure you don’t have any allergy to rosemary oil or one of the other oils in the mixture. If you have sensitive skin, reach out to your dermatologist to see if they recommend this for you,” says Sharpton.

How to Make Rosemary Oil for Hair

Remember that rosemary oil is a fatty acid, so it is best to use it conservatively to avoid an oily scalp and greasy hair. 

“The best way to apply rosemary oil for hair and scalp retention is by lightly applying the serum to the scalp and massaging it throughout the hair. The amount of rosemary oil that will be used directly on the hair will vary depending on one's hair density,” says Peace.

Make sure to apply directly to the scalp about three times a week, gently massaging in with your fingertips to help increase blood flow and absorption. Anabel Kingsley, consultant trichologist and Philip Kingsley Brand President, recommends rosemary oil be “applied as a leave-on product, so it has a greater chance of exerting its effects.”

If you’re really looking to promote hair growth and get the luscious hair of your dreams, you can pump up the effects of rosemary oil with some scalp-benefiting products. Try: Philip Kingsley’s Density Preserving Scalp Drops, which are clinically proven to help slow hair loss and reduce hair shedding, and René Furterer Forticea Energizing Shampoo, which promotes microcirculation. For products that directly use rosemary oil, try Balmain Overnight Repair Serum for vigorous hair growth.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles